|08-08-2012, 08:19 PM||#11|
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: East Harlem
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|08-26-2015, 12:10 PM||#12|
My top 10 LW
3) Roberto Duran (1968-2001)
Record: 103-16, 70 KO
World Champion 1972-79, 12 Defenses
Lightweight Titlists/Champions Faced - 5: (Ken Buchanan, Esteban DeJesus, Guts Ishimatsu, Hector Camacho, Vinny Pazienza)
Panama’s “Manos De Piedra” was not just a great Lightweight...he was high in the race for greatest fighter period over the second half of the twentieth century.** A pro at 16, Duran grew quickly from just above the Bantamweight limit to a full fledged Lightweight by 1971.* Before he got there, he scored a knockout over future Featherweight titlist Ernest Marcel May 1970.* His breakthrough in the States came at Madison Square Garden with a first round knockout of tough Benny Huertas on the undercard of Ken Buchanan’s rematch defense of the Lightweight crown over Ismael Laguna.* He couldn’t know yet just what was coming in less than a year.* With a title shot in sight, Duran stopped former Jr. Lightweight king Hiroshi Kobayashi to end his ’71 campaign and got Buchanan, the lineal and WBA champion, in June 1972.* After a controlling his competitive 13 rounds, Duran ended matters with a vicious low blow at the bell.* Buchanan could not continue and Duran would hold the belt with an iron grip.* He would not, however, remain undefeated as, five months later, Duran was dropped in the first and lost a ten round non-title affair to DeJesus.* It was Duran’s last and only loss at Lightweight.* A 1973 knockout defense against Ishismatsu came in ten rounds; Ishimatsu would go on to win the WBC title.* DeJesus would as well but not until after a March 1974 rematch with DeJesus.* With the title on the line, DeJesus dropped Duran again in the first but found the land beyond the tenth frame unforgiving and was felled in eleven.* More quality challengers would follow like Ray Lampkin, Lou Bizzaro, Vilomar Fernandez.* More knockouts followed with them.* Decisions against the skilled Edwin Viruet in a title defense, and future Jr. Welterweight titlist Saoul Mamby in non-title action, also buffered the resume.* Finally, on January 21, 1978, it was Dejesus one more time.* The Puerto Rican entered with the WBC title for a unification affair but Duran would stay off the floor and savage his rival en route to a twelfth round stoppage in his final Lightweight affair.* Duran would vacate the title and later add the Welterweight title and belts at Jr. Middleweight and Middleweight.* He was inducted to the IBHOF in his first year of eligibility in 2003.
Why He’s Here: Duran had it all.* Speed, defense, power, a great chin &, most important, as crowd pleasing a style as one could ever ask for. Is he 3rd or really 2nd or 1st, who knows but he could be ranked 1-3 and no one would argue or some might, There aren’t a lot of immortal names on his LW ledger but a lot of that had to do with Duran. Consider how close he came to never losing through the first 64 bouts of his career, ending with DeJesus III: at the end of DeJesus I, it was Duran coming on strong.Both of their other fights ended past the tenth.Had the title been on the line, would there be a loss at Lightweight?* Be glad the answer is lost to time for the sum of the trilogy is a nice piece of history.* Consider also that, while he held only the WBA belt through most of his reign, five other men would trade the WBC belt and he thrashed two of them before they got to it.Even decades past his best, well into the Middleweight old timer’s circuit, younger men who followed him at Lightweight like Camacho and Pazienza had their hands full with Duran’s shadow.His accomplishments above Lightweight, and even his failings, make up a large piece of his legend but even without them, his LW run was greatness all its own.No one ever so violently ruled the class &, in a violent sport, that counts.Roberto Duran.Period.
2) Henry Armstrong (1931-45)
*Record: 151-21-9, 101 KO
World Champion 1938-39, 1 Defense
Lightweight Titlists/Champions Faced – 6: (Juan Zurita, Barney Ross, Lou Ambers, Lew Jenkins, Beau Jack, Sammy Angott)
Fighting the bulk of his early career closer to, & at, the FW limit, Armstrong was perhaps even more lethal as a LW. Besting future LW titlist J. Zurita in 4 in 36 was a hint of the champion to come. In 1937, he defeated P.Sarron for the FW title.Before he could get to this division’s crown, he would snare the WW title in 1938 from Barney Ross while weighing only 133 ½ lbs, one fight after knocking out quality LW contender Lew Feldman in 5. Ross was followed with a gripping split decision over Ambers to complete his legendary trifecta of simultaneously held crown. In his next 8 fights, Armstrong would defend the WW title 7 times (once in conjunction with a LW defense), never exceeding the LW limit of 135 lbs. In those bouts, he bested future MW titlist C. Garcia while giving up 12 pounds, stopped Feldman in 1, decisioned rival Baby Arizmendi & crushed perennial contender Davey Day in the 12th.The Ambers rematch in August 1939, 1 year after their first bout, was a savage war marred by point deductions which ultimately cost Armstrong the LW crown.Still holding onto the WW title, Armstrong would continue his sensational run often still weighing less than a modern Jr. WW. While not contested at LW, before & after his WW reign, he did manage wins over Jenkins & Angott higher on the scale, excellent contender Willie Joyce, and even managed another knockout of Zurita.
Why He’s Here: Someone had to be number two, and Armstrong,gets the nod because the man in front of him was just a little bit better.* Or maybe not. Who knows, An argument can be made, as was the case at Featherweight, for rating Armstrong best in class.* At his peak, he was virtually unbeatable and he was at that point at Lightweight.* The problem comes from the lines crossed by other divisions, Armstrong always with a foot in Featherweight still or a foot in Welterweight.* Prior to the last twenty years or so, it was rare to see Armstrong rated at all outside the Welterweight division.* But time and reflection show Armstrong belongs with the best in all of the classes he won titles in.* Had he concentrated solely on the Lightweight title, he likely compiles title numbers the likes of which would still stand as records.* Acknowledging the more concentrated efforts of others costs him slightly here.* Armstrong was an inaugural member of the IBHOF in 1990.
1) Benny Leonard (1911-32)
Record: 85-5-1, 69 KO, 121 no decisions
World Champion 1917-25, 8 defenses
Lightweight Titlists/Champions Faced – 3: (Rocky Kansas, Freddie Welsh, Willie Ritchie)
Benny Leonard was not only one of the greatest lightweights of all time, he was one of historys greatest pound for pound fighters Al Bodner stated, "Leonard had a truly remarkable record. He was one of the greatest master boxers of all time."
A professional at age 15, New York’s Leonard lost three of his first 14 bouts by stoppage.* It would take about twenty years to happen again.* A technical marvel who could punch when it counted, Leonard was one of the dominant figures ever to lace gloves.* He didn’t really hit his stride until 1915 when he began multiple series’ of bouts with the likes of Johnny Dundee, Rocky Kansas, and Freddie Welsh.* Most of them were news verdict bouts but the accounts of the time usually favored Leonard.* By 1917, he was ready for the throne, dropping Welsh three times en route to a ninth round knockout.* Three fights later, he’d add a knockout of reigning Featherweight champion Johnny Kilbane.* Keeping an active schedule, Leonard fought as often as three times a month because selling tickets was how food got on the table.* Two months after a four round news loss to Ritchie in 1919, Leonard scored an eighth round knockout as official as it gets.* In defense of the crown over the years, he turned back Rocky Kansas by decision and knockout and bested rival Lew Tendler in a superfight of the time.* Leonard even made a go at the Welterweight title in 1922, losing on a foul to Jack Britton in a call fraught with controversy.* He’d retire as champion in January 1925 but Depression losses forced a 1931 comeback.* Leonard never regained his form.* A lengthy winning streak fooled some but a crushing knockout in a big step up against future Welterweight champ Jimmy McLarnin in 1932 ended Leonard’s time.* Leonard was an inaugural Hall of Famer.*
Why He’s Here: KNOWN as, The Ghetto Wizard was a fleet footed mobile boxer with a strong punch and liked to set a fast pace. He had excellent hand speed and was a clever two-handed hitter. He had a piston like left jab, a classic right cross and was an accomplished combination puncher. Leonard also loved to train and never entered the ring in less than top condition. He made a real science of the sport studying feints, shifts, and defensive moves for hours at a time in the gym. He was master who rarely lost a round in the vast majority of his fights. He was coolness itself in the ring, finishing off a beaten opponent with cold fury, recovering quickly when hurt and talking himself out of trouble. Because he punched correctly he never suffered a hand injury; because he knew how to defend himself, he usually left the ring unmarked, because he kept himself in peak of condition he could travel ten fast rounds and look as fresh as when he started.”
If it seems this summary doesn’t do justice to Leonard, well, it doesn’t.* All of the old news fights might not have been full speed affairs, but Leonard was remarkable in that he was able to look a winner more often than not under any circumstances.* Leonard is easily, and often, cited as the best that ever did it at Lightweight.* Given the men he most often competes with for the top spot, it might be the most compelling 1-5 debate in any division historically.* The choice for number one here? Pick any of this top 5 and you may not be wrong, on any given night, anyone of them could be #1 through #5.
|08-26-2015, 12:11 PM||#13|
6) Barney Ross (1929-38)
Record: 72-4-3, 22 KO, 2 no decisions
World Champion 1933; 34-38
Titlists/Champions Faced – 2: (Jimmy McLarnin, Henry Armstrong, Canzoneri, Sammy Fuller)
Already having reigned (and previously rated) at WW and Jr. Welterweight, New York’s Ross became the first man in history to hold three lineal World titles simultaneously when he rose to defeat Jimmy McLarnin for the Welterweight crown in May 1934.* Rematching immediately, Ross lost the title in his first defense to maintain a streak of Welterweight champions who had done just that going back to the first reign of Jackie Fields in 1929.* It was a statement of depth a parity Ross would ultimately put a stop too following a rubber match victory over McLarnin.* While he would defend successfully only twice, Ross won seventeen in a row over the ensuing three years.* Among those wins were the defenses against the tough Izzy Jannazzo and future Middleweight champ Ceferino Garcia and a rare for Ross stoppage in two over perennial contender “Baby” Joe Gans.* The Garcia defense was the third victory over the Filipino bolo puncher during the winning streak.* In was in May 1938 that Ross would lose his title, and end his career, giving way to the man usually credited for first holding titles in three classes simultaneously: Henry Armstrong.* Ross’s corner offered to throw in the towel as Ross took a brutal beating but Ross heard the final bell.*
He was ahead of his time as a pure boxer, he could do it all in the ring, and box with the best in History, and one of the best Ring Generals ever.
Why He’s Here:A gifted boxer, Ross was probably not his very best at Welterweight, but at Lightweight & Junior Welterweight, which says a lot about how good he truly was.* Trained by Ray Arcel, the same man who helped to hone the violence of Duran, Ross was a beautiful boxer.* The only two men who could defeat him at Welter, McLarnin and Duran share space with him in other top ten list and he had a case for being 3-0 against McLarnin.* Three victories over the near great Garcia only add to the picture.* The Hall inducted Ross of course on day one, an inaugural inductee in 1990.
5) Joe Gans (1893-1909)
Record: 120-8-9, 85 KO, 18 no decisions
World Champion 1902-04; 06-08 – 14 defenses
Lightweight Titlists/Champions Faced – 4: (Frank Erne, Jimmy Britt, Battling Nelson)
While it is sometimes hard to know just what the oldest of the old timers in the gloved era brought to the table, there is just enough film of Gans to indicate what his record already tells the world.* Speed, power and greatness belonged to the Baltimore native as did a dominance of most of the early twentieth century.* A pro at 16, he lost only two of his first 32 bouts before a draw with Featherweight legend Young Griffo.* Fighting up and down the Eastern shore, he would continue to win far more than he lost on the way to a shot at Frank Erne’s Lightweight crown in March 1900; a cut held him from glory when Gans asked for the fight to be stopped after 12.* He bounced back, stopping Griffo in eight among 32 bouts on the way to a rematch with Erne in May 1902.* The only loss in the run was by second round stop versus Hall of Famer Terry McGovern in a bout long suspected of being fixed.* Nothing could fix Erne in the rematch as Gans won on a first round knockout.* He would lose only once between winning the title and May 1906, that lone defeat coming at the hands of a young and already great Sam Langford.* There is dispute over whether Gans totally vacated the title from 04-06, but history records other champions in those interim years.* One of them, Jimmy Britt, had Gans down multiple times only to be disqualified in late 1904.* One fight prior, Gans faced Welterweight champion Joe Walcott in a non-title 20 round draw.* He’d twice stop future Welterweight champ Mike Sullivan in 1906, after a draw the year before, make firm that he was still the best Lightweight with a 42nd round disqualification win over Nelson later in the year. He knocked out Britt in six to defend the crown in what would be his last great victory, ultimately being stopped by Nelson twice in 1908 to end his salad days.
Why He’s Here: Gans is commonly credited with 14 title defenses spread over two reigns where he never lost the crown in the ring.* It is a record for consecutive, successful lineal defenses at 135 lbs. without a loss and not even Gans greatest statistic.* If a fighter with 60 fights retires with 8 official losses, it’s a good career.* Gans?* He had eight in almost 200 and against great fighters from divisions above and below him.* It might be hard to know, with our eyes, just how great he was.* The advantages of extensive film are obvious and they don’t exist here.* But even on paper, it doesn’t get much better than “The Old Master.”* Gans was, of course, an inaugural member of the IBHOF.
4) Pernell Whitaker (1984-2001)
*Record: 40-4-1, 17 KO
Lineal World Champion 1990-91, 3 Defenses
IBF 1989, 2 Defenses; IBF/WBC 89-90, 3 Defenses; IBF/WBC/WBA, 90-91, 3 Defenses
Lightweight Titlists/Champions Faced – 6: (Jose Luis Ramirez, Greg Haugen, Freddie Pendleton, Juan Nazario, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya)
Some fighters just have it from the cradle.* Norfolk, Virginia’s “Sweet Pea” was one of them.* Arguably the greatest defensive fighter since Willie Pep, Whitaker amassed a sensational 201-14 mark before he ever got paid for his craft.* From 1982-84, he captured the U.S. AAU title, a Silver at the 1982 World Championships, Gold at the 1983 Pan-Am games and, finally a 1984 Olympic Gold in a tournament where he didn’t give up a single point.* By his ninth pro fight in 1986, he was being matched with serious contender Rafael Williams, coming off the floor in round four for an easy unanimous decision.* He’d finish the year two fights later with a lopsided win over former Jr. Lightweight champion Alfredo Layne.* While not a great fighter, Layne had won and lost the title versus Hall of Famers Wilfredo Gomez and Brian Mitchell in his previous two outings.* Whitaker blanked him on the cards.* He followed Layne with a convincing March 1987 decision over a Roger Mayweather between titles at 130 and 140 lbs. to up his record to 13-0.* One year and three fights later, Whitaker was headed to France to challenge a 100-6 WBC titlist in Jose Luis Ramirez.* After twelve, one judge had Whitaker winning nine rounds but the others did not for one of the worst decisions of the 1980s and Whitaker’s only loss at Lightweight.* Whitaker was not long deterred, bouncing back two fights later in February 1989 to blank two-time titlist Greg Haugen on two of three cards for his first belt.* After making a quick defense, Whitaker would avenge the Ramirez robbery, adding a then vacant WBC belt by again blanking his man on two of three cards.* In his next two, Whitaker would defeat game challenger and future titlist Freddie Pendleton before turning back the great Azumah Nelson by unanimous decision; Nelson entered as a reigning Jr. Lightweight titlist.* The unification of the crown would be complete in August 1990 and the judges were never a factor with Whitaker nailing WBA Juan Nazario in the first for a classic one punch knockout.* He would make three more defenses before vacating the crown to move up the scale, still the only man to unify all the available Lightweight titles since Roberto Duran.
Why He’s Here: While there is only one truly great fighter on his ledger at Lightweight (Nelson), Whitaker did the only thing any fighter can do by beating everyone he could and leaving the division cleaned out.* He never came close to being legitimately defeated at the weight and hardly ever decisively lost a round.* Ramirez typically only struggled with the better Lightweights and Haugen had lost only once to then, to V. Pazienza, & avenged the defeat while Nazario entered off a KO win over Hall of Famer Edwin Rosario.While fights above LW were not factored in for these ratings, it is worth noting that Whitaker arguably didn’t outright lose a fight until the age of 35, at WW, versus F. Trinidad.His WW draw with Chavez is widely decried as among the worst decisions in history & the scoring of his 1997 WW loss to De La Hoya, a fight such notables as Larry Merchant & Al Bernstein had him winning, was so absurdly wide as to indicate Whitaker needed a KO to score a draw.Through almost 15 yrs, politics were far more dangerous to Whitaker than punches & he was recognized by the Ring Mag family as the top fighter of the 90s.He could easily be called, today, the best fighter of the last 20 yrs.Whitaker was voted into the IBHOF in his 1st yr in 2008.
|08-26-2015, 12:13 PM||#14|
10) Beau Jack (1939-55
Record: 91-24-5, 44 KO.
World Champion: 1942-1944
Lightweight Titlists/Champions Faced – 7 Johnny Bratton,Tippy Larkin,Bob Montgomery,Henry Armstrong, Juan Zurita. Sammy Angott, Kid Gavilan, Lew Jenkins.
Sidney Walker, better known as Beau Jack, (April 1, 1921 – February 9, 2000), was an American lightweight and two-time world champion. One of the most popular fighters during the War Years, he headlined at boxer on twenty one occasions, a record that still stands, Called “The greatest lightweight ever” by Cus D'Amato, trainer and manager of fighters such as Floyd Patterson,José Torres and Mike Tyson. o make extra money, he would engage in battle royales, which consisted of five to ten boys fighting each other blindfolded, until only one remained standing. The winner was given a purse by the white organiser. He turned Pro in 1940, he began his career fighting in Massachusetts where He established an impressive record of 27-4-2. It was also during these early fights that Jack earned his reputation for being a relentless and powerful fighter, two traits which endeared him to audiences. November 1942 Jack found himself in a fight against AllieStolz*to decide who would challenge for the New York version of the world title. Going into the fight Stolz was the clear favourite, with 3-1 odds to win. However, Jack pulled off a massive shock by knocking out Stolz in the 7th round. In the title fight, against*Tippy Larkin, Jack pulled off a similar surprise by knocking out the champion in the third round.
Jack only held the title for six months before dropping it to fellow hall-of-famer*Bob Montgomery*on an unanimous points decision. Jack would go on to regain the title from Montgomery, before losing it to*Juan Zurita*in March 1944.he showed remarkable stamina, fighting three main events in one month. fought in a swarming style in which he used his great upper body strength and volume of punches to wear down an opponent.
Why He's here: Beau Jack, considered one of the greatest lightweight boxers who ever laced on the gloves, Called “The greatest lightweight ever” by Cus D'Amato, Jack was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1979 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991, he had a Perfect 1942 Campaign, winning all 13 of his bouts, 3 against top 10 Opposition, Not many could have beaten him, he comes in at the 10th spot. He fought the great Bob Montgomery 4x splitting them, he beat Henry Armstrong, late in his career near the end, he lost a Unanimous decision to Ike Williams and had a draw.
He was a Fantastic fighter and worthy of any top 10 LW List.
9) Tony Canzoneri (1925-39)
Record: 137-24-10, 44 KO, 4 no decisions
World Champion 1930-33, 4 defenses; 35-36, 1 Defense
Lightweight Titlists/Champions Faced – 4: (Sammy Mandell, Al Singer, Barney Ross, Lou Ambers)
After an impressive run at Featherweight, the Louisiana born Canzoneri would capture both the Lightweight and Jr. Welterweight titles simultaneously at 135.* By his early twenties, he was widely regarded as the best fighter in the world at any weight when earning such recognition meant doing it versus the best opponents to be found on a regular basis.* After an upset loss of the 126 lb. crown in 1928, Canzoneri drew with future Lightweight champion Al Singer to begin business between the two.* Before their second meeting, Canzoneri would fall short on points in an August 1929 title shot versus Mandell; it was his only loss in 14 fights that year.* He would lose two of 13 in 1930, to Jr. Welter great Jackie Berg and future Hall of Famer Billy Petrolle, while besting reigning Jr. Lightweight king Benny Bass and, in his final fight of the year, stopping Singer in the first round to capture the Lightweight honors.* In April 1931, he’d stop Berg in three to defend his Lightweight crown and wrest the 140 lb. title into his collection; by the end of the year he’d decision Berg in a rematch and reigning Jr. Lightweight champ Kid Chocolate in defense of both his crowns.* 1933 was a lesser year with a pair of major upset losses to Johnny Jaddick for the Jr. Welterweight crown but a revenge win over Petrolle to keep the title at Lightweight.* His first Lightweight title reign would end in a pair of narrow decisions to Ross but Canzoneri had another run in him.* Knockouts of then-Jr. Lightweight champ Frankie Klick (whom he also decisioned) and Chocolate, along with a decision over Hall of Famer Baby Arizmendi led to Canzoneri being matched with Lou Ambers for Ross’s vacated title in May 1935; dropping Ambers twice, Canzoneri sailed to a unanimous decision and second Lightweight crown.* Two more non-title wins over Klick, a defense against Al Roth, revenge decision over Jaddick, and defeat of former Welterweight champion Jimmy McLarnin provided his last wild burst of greatness.* He’d lose the title to Ambers in September 1936 and again suffer defeat in their 1937 rubber match, never to compete for a World title again.* Canzoneri was retired in three by big punching Bummy Davis in his final fight, the only knockout loss in some 175 contests.* Canzoneri was an inaugural member of the IBHOF.*
Why He’s Here:* Like many of the greats before television revenue allowed for more relaxed schedules, Canzoneri’s career was marked by audacious matchmaking.* From 1929-37, he fought no less than one and as many as three fights a year against strong-case Hall of Famers.* That doesn’t even include all the multiple World champions from multiple weight classes or the fact that he’d won three titles in three weight classes before he was 23 years old.* If there is any knock to be made, it is in an occasional inconsistency against the very best but, given that volume of challenges, losses are to be expected.* Many modern fans can be heard to ask what made the old timers so great.* If such question exists for anyone reading here then scroll up and read it all again.* The answers are easy to find though it is still true greatness can be found in any time.* The next man on the list is evidence of as much.
8) Ike Williams (1940-55)
*Record: 126-24-5, 60 KO
World Champion 1947-51, 4 defenses
NBA Titlist 1945-47, 3 defenses
Lightweight Titlists/Champions Faced – 5: (Bob Montgomery, Sammy Angott, Juan Zurita, Beau Jack, Jimmy Carter)
Tall for the division at 5’9, Williams was a terror possessing tremendous speed and power and a usually solid beard.* Like many of his time, Williams learned his craft while still basically a kid, turning pro at 16 and losing four of his first fifteen before an unbeaten stretch of 33 fights ended with a stoppage loss to a Montgomery in 1944 who’d already won and lost a share of the Lightweight crown.* Williams would continue to be up and down through 1945, splitting a pair with Angott (the loss by stoppage) and dropping three of four distance contests to Willie Joyce while managing to snare the NBA Lightweight crown from Juan Zurita with a second round stop.* A non-title 1946 points verdict over future Welterweight titlist Johnny Bratton set the stage was the highlight of a year which featured two NBA defenses and then came a big 1947.* Winning nine of ten outings, Williams stopped former Jr. Welter champ Tippy Larkin and followed immediately with a unification revenge knockout of Montgomery in six rounds.* The reign would last four years though Williams fought more often in non-title affairs.* He beat Bratton twice more and the first of three against Kid Gavilan while also stopping Beau Jack to defend the crown and decisioning him in a non-title affair.* Struggling mightily to make weight, he was pummeled in his final title fight by Jimmy Carter and stopped in 14.* He would continue at Welterweight, drawing with and then stopping Jack in his final two outings.* Williams was an inaugural member of the IBHOF.
Why He’s Here: It will never be known for sure but mob influence may have stopped Williams from being even greater.* It’s a scary thought.* What was provided was often excellent…but not always.* To his credit, Williams was a gamer.* He came up big in big moments, scoring knockouts for his first title, again to unify, and in a big fight with Jack.* Did he ever throw fights?* There has always been speculation, though not as bad as that which has lurked over the career of the man who beat him for the title.* There was enough, plenty in fact including multiple Hall of Fame Lightweights, to overcome any concerns and recognize that at his best Williams was as good as anyone could be at 135 lbs.*
|08-26-2015, 12:14 PM||#15|
7) Packey McFarland (1904-15)
Record: 64-1-5, 47 KO, 43 No Decisions
Lightweight Champions/Titlists Faced ***8211; 2: (Freddie Welsh, Jimmy Britt)
Chicago has produced many a great fighter. McFarland was as good as any of them. Also known as the ***8220;Pride of the Stockyards***8221; & the ***8220;Chicago Flash,***8221; McFarland displayed grit, skill, & serious power to go along with an anvil chin.Turned pro at 16, McFarland rose through the ranks & by age 20 was beginning to face the best. In a 3 fight stretch from February to July 08, he won a points verdict over future World Champ F. Welsh in 10, stopped former LW king J. Britt in 6, & battled Welsh again to a 25-round draw.The following year, he***8217;d add a win over future MW titlist J. Thompson & in 1910, go even again with Welsh over 20 frames.His competition remained high in 1911 & 12 with a draw against future WW great J. Britton & news wins over Hall of Famer Owen Moran & another future WW champion, Matt Wells. As his career neared its end, McFarland grew into a WW & even MW. When it was over, he***8217;d lost only once & it took a while for the loss, a short decision in his 1st 10 fights, to be recognized.
Why He***8217;s Here: McFarland was in a bit of a quandary in his time.LW title contests in the U.S. in the first decade of the 20th century were fought at 133 lbs. McFarland was fine at the modern limit of 135 & would have been comfortable had there been a Jr. Welterweight division.Neither were the case.However, for the early bouts with Welsh & Britt, he was below 133 & probably could have made it to the line with the right opportunity.An absolute lack of interest from then champion Battling Nelson was an obstacle he could not overcome.There have been contenders ducked by champions in every era.McFarland was among the most notable in his.In over 100 fights, he proved himself the better of great fighters from below & above him in the scale &, while adding L***8217;s to other men***8217;s ledgers, was not accepting them back in return.McFarland was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in 1992.
|08-26-2015, 03:11 PM||#16|
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